Family Hand Pumps

Manufacture and installation of hand pumps

Suma Jayma constructs from scratch using locally available materials manual hand pumps. These hand pumps are installed in rural communities, with each benefiting family receiving their own hand pump to achieve safe access to an improved water supply for them and their animals.

The manual pump is of the lever type, made of 3-inch diameter galvanized steel pipe, with a 1 ½-inch outlet. 2 ½-inch and ½-inch schedule 40 PVC tubing are used for the installation of valve and piston accessories.

The benefiting families excavate their wells during the dry season to a depth where groundwater is reached, ranging from six thirty feed in depth. The wells, typically a meter in diameter, are then lined with concrete rings as part of the hand pumps project. Suma Jayma provides the reusable molds for constructing the concrete rings to achieve a full vertical lining according to the depth of the benefiting family's well.

Protecting the water source is essential. This is achieved by constructing and installing a reinforced concrete cover over the well. Reinforcing steel (rebar) grid is fabricated in Suma Jayma's workshop and delivered to the site for concrete placement under the technical supervision and implementation by Suma Jayma staff. Benefiting families participate in all phases of on-site construction, to better understand the infrastructure they are obtaining as well as to create a sense of ownership through shared sacrifice in the project. An access hatch is installed with a concrete lid to facilitate operations/maintenance as needed over the years to come.

Concrete sidewalks and a reinforced concrete receiving basin are installed. The concrete sidewalks, sloping away from the well below, help protect the source water from surface contamination.

The hand pump is very simple to use and also does not need much effort to pump.

Service-maintenance of hand pumps

With all parts built by Suma Jayma from locally available materials, any operations/maintenance issues over the years can be easily resolved. The pumps have proven to work effectively for decades. Suma Jayma's first hand pumps were installed in 2000.

Maintenance service when required would typically be for the valve and piston accessories, specifically if the leather or PVC components become worn. Should any steel components break, they can easily be rewelded by Suma Jayma staff. Such instances are very rare. The hand pump system is designed, fabricated and installed in such a manner to easily facilitate repair or replacement of any portion of the hand pump assembly from above the well. The PVC pipe and accessories can be easily reinstalled into the well following maintenance.

Suma Jayma has installed approximately two thousand family hand pumps in 66 community projects since its founding in 2000 throughout the rural altiplano of the Bolivian Andes. In these semi-arid regions where families are very disperse, the simple yet reliable nature of these hand pumps make them an appropriate solution to meeting safe water access needs.

Watch Suma Jayma's approach to family hand pumps, from fabrication to installation, on YouTube: